The Daily Nole

FSU Women Overcome Sluggish Start to Down W. Illinois

Perrone Ford Perrone Ford/FSU athletics

The struggles of Florida State’s women’s basketball team coming in seemed to be manifesting early on, but the third-seeded Seminoles turned it on in the second half to top 14th-seeded Western Illinois on Friday, 87-66.

FSU (26-6) trailed by seven after the first quarter on its home floor and led by just two at halftime. The second half however was sheer dominance as the Seminoles outscored the Leathernecks 31-22 in the third quarter and 20-10 in the final period.

The last lead for Western Illinois (26-7) came with about 1:30 left in the first half as Taylor Higginbotham knocked down a 3-pointer to go ahead, 34-32. The Seminoles scored the final four points of the second quarter and the first five in the third and never looked back.

Shakayla Thomas and Chatrice White each recorded double-doubles for FSU in the victory. Thomas led all scorers with 23 points while White added 19. Both grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Imani Wright added 14 points and Leticia Romero chipped in with 12. For the night, FSU shot 51 percent from the floor.

Higginbotham scored 20 points to lead the Leathernecks. Morgan Blumer added 12 and Taylor Hanneman had 11 points.

The win for FSU marks the fifth straight time that FSU has advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles will look to make a third straight Sweet 16 as it hosts sixth-seeded Missouri on Sunday. The Tigers defeated South Florida on Friday, 66-64.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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